Hampshire: Companies create national space team

A group of Hampshire-based companies – Serco, CGI UK and Lockheed Martin UK – have teamed up with London-based Inmarsat to create the UK’s new national team in space – Athena.

The four companies are all world leaders in providing technology and services across defence, space, communications and information technology to governments, businesses and other organisations.

Athena has been formed to seize development opportunities that new space technologies will offer, driving economic growth for the UK and diversification across the British space sector.

The space and satellite sector is one of Enterprise M3’s key priorities. More than 140 space sector organisations operate in the EM3 area, employing more than 3,200 staff and the sector has seen exponential growth of 33% since 2016.

The combined capabilities and technologies available to Athena will enhance further the country’s ability to deliver the UK’s ‘Prosperity and Security in Space’ strategy, which aims to increase the value of space to wider industrial activities to £500 billion, generate an extra £5 billion in UK exports and attract £3b of additional inward investment.

Kevin Craven, chief executive of Serco, UK and Europe, said: “I am delighted to introduce Athena as an exciting new team that will deliver enhanced space-based technologies and services from the UK.

“Athena will boost British capabilities, as well as the economy, via growth in this fast-moving, developing sector. The launch of Athena also ensures diversity and choice in the UK space sector for future sustainable development.”

Athena will work on a number of opportunities that leverage space-based technologies, their ground-based systems and end-to-end services as they arise, both in the UK and internationally in the export market.

While continuing to operate as separate companies, Athena will see Serco, Inmarsat, CGI UK and Lockheed Martin UK – already major employers in the UK – develop shared capabilities to meet future demand for space-enabled solutions for business and government customers. Serco and CGI UK are both based in Hook, Hampshire, while Lockheed Martin has a base at Farnborough.